The Cowboys have shown flashes of that this season. Freshman guard Marcus Smart, who is projected as a lottery pick in the NBA draft, has reinvigorated OSU. It will come to Lloyd Noble Center after rolling TCU, 63-45, on Wednesday.
OU got to see it. The Sooners haven’t played since that conference-opening victory at West Virginia last Saturday. The time off was filled preparing for the Cowboys.
“It’s a big game for us. We consider every game a statement game as far as playing the next 17 like it’s the only one. It’s a little easier to do that for this one,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “Oklahoma State is the in-state rival and they’re a really good basketball team. We need to back up that road by protecting our home court; that’s the challenge.”
It’s the same confrontation OU and OSU teams have been facing for years. What seems to have changed is winning the in-state rivalry means more than bragging rights for the first time in years. It means a notch up in the conference standings and knowledge that winning is actually proof that either can beat quality opponents.
The Bedlam basketball rivalry once got a shiny coat of polish twice a year because it was two really good teams on the court. The victor knew it had come away with a quality win.
All indications point toward retrieving that status today.
John ShinnFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org